When should I hatch chicks

Australorp chicks on pasture

Temporary chick enclosureWhen’s the best time to hatch
chicks to take advantage of spring pasture?  I’m very happy with
our March 2 hatch, which allowed me to let the chicks out into the
outside world on March 16.  The greenery is tender enough that
they can eat gobs of it, so I haven’t had to
down succulent growth especially for them

Granted, this has been
an obscenely warm spring so far, and it might have been too cold for
chicks to be out and about in a different year.  I’ve got a second
set of chicks slated to pop out of their eggs at the beginning April,
which might be a more realistic time for chicks if you live north of
our zone 6.

Another factor to
consider is trying to get the chicks fattened up by the beginning of
pasture slump

If you’re buying Cornish Cross, that won’t be a problem since they’re
ready to eat in 6 to 8 weeks, but we grow our heirloom broilers out to
12 weeks.  Will the pasture still be lushly growing a the end of
June?  We’ll have to wait and see if better management this spring
will ensure good chicken forage that late into the summer.

Chicks eating clover

Our chicken waterer lets chicks drink POOP-free
water from day 1.

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